Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Interview & Book Giveaway with Author Connie Stevens

A big HELLO to today's guest, Heartsong Presents author Connie Stevens!

Q:  What was your inspiration for REVEALING FIRE?
A:  The main characters in REVEALING FIRE were minor characters in my first book, LEAVE ME NEVER. Both Pearl and Hubert are in their mid-fifties—their “September years”. I so fell in love with these two people while writing the first book, I knew I had to give them their own story.

Q:How does your faith impact your writing?
A:  I’ve been asked this question before and my answer is always the same. It’s imperative that everything I write is God-honoring. Because it was God who carved out my writing path, I MUST write to please Him. If I’m not writing for God, what’s the point? From the day I learned I was getting my first contract, I began praying for my readers. That is such an awesome responsibility because at some point I know that unbelievers might pick up my book and I want them to see Jesus in the lives of the characters and understand how He works in their lives.

Q:  Do you plot out your story ahead of time, or do you think it up as you go?
A:  I do both. I plot out the major points and character arcs. I have a general idea of where the story is going and how I’m going to get to The End. But in every book I’ve written, my characters have taken me on unplanned detours. In most cases, they had better ideas than I did, so I followed along to see where we’d end up. (My husband keeps trying to tell me these people aren’t real.)

Q:  How long does it take you to complete a novel? How many drafts do you go through?
A:  My writing schedule is an ever-evolving process. It used to take me 8-9 months to write a book, but I wasn’t following a schedule. Once I had more than one contract and deadlines, (throw content edits, copy edits, and galley edits into the mix) I knew I had to be better organized. Now I can turn out a book (50K words) in approximately three and half months. Because I edit as I go, and as I get my chapters back from my crit partners, I don’t do several drafts—usually only two.

Q:  What’s your favorite part of the writing business? What’s your least favorite?
A:  My favorite part is the creating and the research. I love historical research. My least favorite is probably the content edits (No offense, Rachel J)

Q:  What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to a fledgling writer?
A:  Don’t quit. God won’t start something in your life that He doesn’t intend to finish, so hang in there.

Q:  What’s the one far out sci-fi technology you’d most like to see become a household item?
A:  This is a funny question since I write historical romance, not sci-fi. My husband is the science fiction fan in our house, and I don’t know Star Trek from Star Wars, but I wouldn’t mind having a robot—like the one on The Jetsons. What was her name? Rosie? Rosie cleaned, and did laundry, and cooked the meals. Yeah, I’d like to have a Rosie.

I'd like to have, Rosie, too. Good choice :+} Thanks for joining us today, Connie. It was a pleasure!

Connie Stevens lives in her favorite place in all the world, within sight of the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. She and John, her husband of thirty-seven years, share their home with one cantankerous kitty, misnamed Sweet Pea. When Connie isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, gardening, browsing antique stores, sewing, and collecting teddy bears. She also likes making quilts to send to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Visit her website at www.conniestevenswrites.com or look for her on Facebook.

ABOUT THE BOOK - Revealing Fire
Pearl Dunnigan is in her “September years”, well beyond the age when most women fall in love. She married her childhood sweetheart years ago. Now, as a widow, she operates the only boardinghouse in Willow Creek, Iowa, and is content with life . . . until Hubert dares to convince her to dream again.

During Hubert Behr’s youth, blind ambition and careless actions destroyed his family and his marriage. Have the lessons he’s learned since then made him worthy of a second chance, or has his past made him unsuitable for love? Hubert is willing to try again, but what will Pearl say when she learns his secrets?

Hubert’s estranged son arrives in town, and his anger and scorn threaten to undo Hubert’s and Pearl’s plans. When all the truth is revealed, will their love be destroyed or refined by fire?

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest . . . because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” 
1st Corinthians 3:13

If you’d like to be entered to win a copy of Revealing Fire, just leave a comment on this blog. I’ll pick a winner at random on Friday, May 20th. Please leave an email address so I can contact you if you're the winner. (To prevent spammers from trolling for your email, please use this format with the brackets--you [at] yourmail [dot] com--or something similar.) Good luck!


Martha W. Rogers said...

I really love learning more and more about you, Connie, through your interviews and blog visits. Thanks for offering your book. I look forward to reading it soon.
Blessings on you, dear friend.

marthalrogers(at)sbcglobal(dot) net

Emma said...

Good interview. Revealing Fire
sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thanks for the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.

Sherri Shackelford said...

You are an inspiration, Connie! Thank you for sharing your insights.

karenk said...

this sounds like a beauatiful novel...thanks for the chance to read it :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Jennifer AlLee said...

The winner is... Martha! Thanks to all who visited, and a big thanks to Connie :+}